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Fellow members;

I am new to this site, and I know there is a lot of knowledge here that will put in the right direction. I am getting my 18ft 1969 aluminum Star-craft Holiday with a 75hp Mariner ready for salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. I would like to know what kind of driving lights I need to get me out of the launch to the fishing spot and back in the dark? Front and back of the boat? Do the lights power out of the same motor battery or a separate battery?

Question #2l: Is it required by law to have a fixed radio with an antenna in the boat? or would a handled radio be fine?

Thanks in advance.

Mazen

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This is what is required by the US coast guard.

A radio is not required, but not worth going with out. A hand held is fine, but most don't have much range. Bring extra batteries.

1 State Numbering and Letters

Must be in contrasting color to the boat, not less than 3 inches in height, and located on each side of the forward part of the boat. It must also have a state decal within six inches of the registration number.

2 Certificate of Documentation

For documented vessels only, an original and current certificate must be on board. The vessel name must be on the exterior part of the hull and cannot be less than 4 inches in height. The official number, at least 3 inches in height, permanently affixed on interior structure.

3 Personal Flotation Device

One type of Coast Guard approved life jacket must be on board for each person on the boat. Also must have one Type V, throwable type of PFD.

4 Visual Distress Signal

One orange distress flag and one electric distress light, or three hand-held or floating orange smoke signals and one electric distress light, or three combination (day/night) red flares: hand-held, meteor or parachute type.

5 Fire Extinguisher

One Marine Type USCG B-I fire extinguisher if your boat has an inboard engine, enclosed compartments where fuel or flammable and combustible materials are store, closed living spaces, or permanently installed fuel tanks.

Ventilation

6 If your boat was built after April 25, 1940 and uses gasoline in an enclosed engine or fuel tank compartment, it must have natural ventilation. If it was built after July 31, 1980 it must have an exhaust blower.

Sound Producing Device

7 A sufficient way to make a sound signal, like a whistle or an air horn, but not a human produced noise.

8 Navigation Lights

Required to be displayed sunset to sunrise.

9 Backfire Flame Arrestor

Required on gasoline engine boats manufactured after April 25, 1940 except outboard motors.

10 Marine Sanitation Device

If you have an installed toilet, you must have an operable MSD, Type I, II, or III.

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2 Certificate of Documentation

For documented vessels only, an original and current certificate must be on board. The vessel name must be on the exterior part of the hull and cannot be less than 4 inches in height. The official number, at least 3 inches in height, permanently affixed on interior structure.

III.

Thank you Ken for the quick and detail response. What is a documented vessel? Is a personal boat count as a documented vessel? If not, do all boats on the big lake need a vessel name? Can I put a name on the boat without documents?

Sorry if my questions are stupid, but when the in laws used the boat on the big lake years back, they never had a vessel name on it.

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Mazen,

Usually Documented Vessels are the larger boats on the lake. There is a preset for being able to document, but, I don't have it right here in front of me.

As far as the name on your boat, that is pretty much up to you. As long as it is not profanity. And no you do not need to document your boat.

Your questions are NOT stupid. The only Stupid question, is the one that is NOT asked.

On the bow, red and green, stern white light.

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Mazen; You will want have a picture ID. with you, as far as know name on boat not req. If you go out and cut someone off, you will have a lot of name's for your boat. LOL.

Good point Grant. I can guarantee you that I am a good driver on the road and on the water. And I will definitely have my driver's license on me all the times. :thumb:

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Mazen,

Usually Documented Vessels are the larger boats on the lake. There is a preset for being able to document, but, I don't have it right here in front of me.

As far as the name on your boat, that is pretty much up to you. As long as it is not profanity. And no you do not need to document your boat.

Your questions are NOT stupid. The only Stupid question, is the one that is NOT asked.

On the bow, red and green, stern white light.

Thank you Bill for clearing that for me. I do have the red/green and the stern light all working.

But what about getting on the big lake in the dark and getting on the water? Do you put some headlight or a fog light in the front of the boat to see?

I would like to see some pictures if anybody have some to have an idea of what to look for.

Thanks again.

Mazen

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I do not have a spot light up front for running in the dark. I do have a couple of flood lights mounted on my bimini top for lighting up the back deck area while fishing. Fog lights spread the light out. Do not use driving lights for lighting up the back of your boat.

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Do you use the outboard battery or is it a separate battery?

I have a (2) battery system on my boat. (1) for starting, and the other for alll my electronics and lighting.

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Most lights are not much help for navigating after dark except for spotting pier heads and docks. Your gps, and radar are best used after dark. Keeping everything as dark as possible helps your night vision to see other boats running lights. I have spots mounted on the front of my boat, but for the reasons above. I also have flood lights mounted under the rear downrigger railing for out the back of the boat, I use these lights for after dark fishing. They light up the water and I can see the planer boards as well as the tips of my rods on the downriggers, but since the light is behind the boat it doesn't affect my night vision.

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Most lights are not much help for navigating after dark except for spotting pier heads and docks. Your gps, and radar are best used after dark. Keeping everything as dark as possible helps your night vision to see other boats running lights. I have spots mounted on the front of my boat, but for the reasons above. I also have flood lights mounted under the rear downrigger railing for out the back of the boat, I use these lights for after dark fishing. They light up the water and I can see the planer boards as well as the tips of my rods on the downriggers, but since the light is behind the boat it doesn't affect my night vision.

Thank you Tony for the info, do you have any pics of your flood lights on the back of the boat?

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I run a couple halogen ligths off the bimini for rigging and netting fish. Other than that, i have the required lights by law and thats it.

Adam, do you have a two system battery? or you are using the starting battery?

Thanks for your help

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I run two batteries in tandem for all of the electronics and my lights. I also have bimini mounted rear facing lights for night fishing. If you put lights in the front they by law cannot innerfear with your bow lights. In other words, other boats have to be able to see your red/green lights. I have found it best to rely on your own night vision while operating after dark And I do a fair amount of night fishing.

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If you put lights in the front they by law cannot innerfear with your bow lights. In other words, other boats have to be able to see your red/green lights. I have found it best to rely on your own night vision while operating after dark And I do a fair amount of night fishing.

Thank you Steve. That is a great point. So no lights in front except the red/green. But I will do plans for the back lights. I do have to figure out where to mount them as I do not have a top on the boat.

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I have the standard red/green bow light, a combination remote controlled spot-flood, two 55W halogen lights on the rocket launcher, two courteous lights on rigger board, and my white mast light in the center of the rocket launcher.:) Let there be light.:)

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  • 4 weeks later...
I have the standard red/green bow light, a combination remote controlled spot-flood, two 55W halogen lights on the rocket launcher, two courteous lights on rigger board, and my white mast light in the center of the rocket launcher.:) Let there be light.:)

Got a little crazy:eek: with my lights. I'm putting two 130 watt KC Daylighters on my radar mast for docking, and fog.

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